Turkey Gearing Up to Be Electric Car Production Center
Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergün has said Turkey will see its first electric car manufactured in 2011 by French carmaker Renault, with a further aim of making the country an important export and production base for electric cars while also encouraging use of these vehicles in the domestic market.
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency yesterday, Ergün elaborated on the ministry’s Automotive Sector Strategy Plan, which is expected to be ready within one to one-and-a-half months. He noted that Renault will start producing the electric version of the Fluence next year in Bursa and added that the car will be exported to world markets. Automotive technology is going through an important re volution, shifting from fossil fuel vehicles to hybrid and electric cars, the minister stressed, noting that one of every four to five vehicles in Europe is expected to be electric within the next 10 years. Turkey has a great opportunity in this shift in technology, Ergün remarked, adding that it could emerge as one of the most important electric car production bases in the world. The new technology will also give birth to another sector: the transformation of traditional vehicles to electric vehicles, Ergün stated, for which research and development is currently under way. “In this regard we are working on a model to encourage the use of electric cars in the domestic market and also on transforming current vehicles to electric powered,” said Ergün.
Turkey is emerging as one of the most competitive countries in the world automotive sector, he noted, adding that the medium-term target is to raise the country’s auto production to at least 2 million cars annually. Of this figure, 1.5 million might be exported, he predicted. The new strategy envisions the necessary investment and support being given to the sector and establishing cooperation between the main producers, the supply industry and dealers, he said.
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